Trump, Pelosi, Schumer Address Nation in Primetime Speeches

The leaders of both political parties presented drastically opposing views on the government shutdown and border security.

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Trump, Pelosi, Schumer Address Nation in Primetime Speeches

President Trump makes a speech.

President Trump makes a speech.

White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

President Trump makes a speech.

White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

President Trump makes a speech.

Sofia Ventura

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Tuesday night, President Donald Trump delivered a nine-minute primetime address on border security, speaking from the Oval Office for the first time in his presidency. Immediately afterwards, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., delivered speeches in response. A transcript of all three statements can be found here.

 

President Trump opened his speech by declaring a “growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.” Citing “vast quantities of illegal drugs,” the “broken system” of American immigration, and the recent killing of a Newman police officer by an illegal immigrant, President Trump reiterated his request that Congress allot $5.7 billion of the federal budget to the construction of a “physical barrier” on the U.S. southern border. He also continued to place blame for the ongoing government shutdown on Congress Democrats, saying that they have “refused to acknowledge the crisis” of illegal immigration.

 

In a joint speech soon after, Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer accused the president of using “the backdrop of the Oval Office to manufacture a crisis, stoke fear and divert attention from the turmoil in his administration.” Both legislators called on the president to end the shutdown, with Schumer saying that there is “an obvious solution: separate the shutdown from the arguments over border security.”

 

The speeches given by President Trump and both Democratic leaders came on the the 18th day of a government shutdown, which began after Democrats and Republicans in Congress failed to reach a compromise on the president’s $5.7 billion border wall funding request. President Trump did not declare a national emergency in his address, although he said on Friday that he “can call a national emergency and build it really quickly.” The option of declaring a state of emergency was also mentioned by Vice President Mike Pence, who said on Monday that the White House was considering the possibility. Instead, the leaders of both parties continued to place blame on their opposition for the shutdown on Tuesday, and neither appeared willing to compromise in the near future.

Sofia Ventura, Manager

Sofia Ventura is a junior in the Orchestra strand of the VPA Academy. When she’s not practicing the violin, she writes short stories, hugs her German...

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